Gothic Architecture Research Papers

The classical Gothic style was adapted in France into numerous regional ramifications.Our study focuses into a subset of 20 French cathedrals which are predominantly Gothic in style, were built in the region called Île de France between the 11th and 13th centuries, and are representative of the total population of Gothic cathedrals (Fig.It arises in contrast to the massiveness and the inadequate interior illumination of Romanic churches.

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Inspired by Mandelbrot’s work, Bechhoefer and Bovill used the concept of fractal dimension in architectural drawings (Bechhoefer and Bovill ) used similar techniques to analyze the design of certain architects such as Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Peter Eisenman and Eileen Gray.

Specifically, those authors looked for a relation between the structure of the architects’ constructions and the natural or artificial environment where those constructions were projected.

Nonetheless, the most perfect proportion stems from the pentagon and the decagon, leading to the golden ratio phi (Fig. As well as the Euclidean elements, however, there is another complex concept in the construction of the Gothic cathedrals: the unevenness of their structures, which determines their space-filling ability, i.e. The best tool to describe this concept is given by Fractal Geometry through a ratio called The aim of our investigation is to analyse the geometry of the French Gothic cathedrals in order to show the existence of a general fractal pattern.

We are not comparing the constructive processes of the cathedrals nor the will of the architects to implement their designs.

The style of architecture we now call Gothic first emerged between the 12th and 15th centuries of the medieval period.

It emphasized structural lightness and illumination of the inside naves.As well as the square, architects used the pentagon, the octagon and the decagon (all of them constructible using a ruler and a compass) to represent, by means of accurate geometric relations, the floor plans and elevations of their constructions (Simon ).The square, as well as the octagon, stemmed from geometries which took the heavenly Jerusalem as a model.In this paper we use the techniques of Fractal Geometry to generate parameters which provide a measure of roughness.In this way we show that the French Gothic cathedrals do not only follow Euclidean geometric patterns, but also have a general non-random fractal pattern.Geographical situation of the 20 cathedrals being studied: Strasbourg cathedral (1015), Troyes cathedral (1128), Sens cathedral (1135), Noyon cathedral (1150), Senlis cathedral (1153), Laon cathedral (1155), Paris cathedral (1163), Lisieux cathedral (1170), Tours cathedral (1170), Soissons cathedral (1177), Chartres cathedral (1195), Bourges cathedral (1195), Rouen cathedral (1202), Reims cathedral (1211), Auxerre cathedral (1215), Amiens cathedral (1220), Metz cathedral (1220), Orleans cathedral (1278), Toul cathedral (13th century), Sées cathedral (13th–14th century) This sample of cathedrals is considered to be significant in stylistic, chronological and geographical terms.We intend to analyse the constructions geometrically using new parameters which were unknown until now.Gothic art was born in northern France, in a region called “Île de France” to be precise.Historically, this style was marked by the alliance between the French monarchy and the Catholic Church.The best examples are the Reims cathedral (1211) and the Amiens cathedral (1220).Both have a cross-shaped floor plan and their elements were combined in pursuit of illumination and structural lightness and regularity.


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